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Full text of "Fish and Wildlife Management Report November 1, 1960"

No No. 54 November, 1960 




ONTARIO 



FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 

REPORT 



PROVINCE OF ONTARIO 

DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 

Fish and Wildlife Branch 



(These Reports are for Intra-Departmental Information and 
Not for Publication) 



Hon. J. W. Spooner F - A. MacDougall 

Minister Deputy Minister 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 
No. 54 November, I960 



Page 

The Polar Bear in Ontario - by A.T. Cringan, J. A. Macfie, 

and T. Batchelor, (with addi- 
tions by D. W. Simkin) 1 

Preliminary Deer Investigations in the Espanola Forestry 
Wildlife Management Unit, 
Sudbury District. - by D. A. Mulligan 

and L. L. Trodd 7 

Recommendations for Deer Management on Espanola Multiple 
Use Management Unit. - by H, G. Cumming 

and A. B. Stephenson 21 

Kenora District Wolf Inventory 1959-1960. 

- by M. Linklater 24 

Impoundments in Ontario (1957) - by J. M. Fraser 29 

Parry Sound Lake Trout Sport Fishery - 1959 - by A. Dube 

and C. A. Rettie 41 

Hills Lake Hatchery Experiment No. 3 on Aerial Fish 

Planting, 1959. - by N. D. Patrick 43 



(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR IMTRA-DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/resourcemannov1960onta 



THE POLAR BEAR IN ONTARIO 

by 

A. T. Cringan, J. A. Macfie and T. Batchelor 
(with additions by D. W. Simkin) 

Abstract 

The polar bear occurs along Ontario's marine coast 
bordering on Hudson and James Bays at least south to 
Attawapiskat, and inland as much as 100 miles. The 
provincial polar bear population which is estimated 
at not more than a few hundred is present throughout 
the year. Polar bears range mostly along the coast 
during the summer months. The females move inland 
during November, den up, bear young, then return to 
the coast during March or April. Parturition occurs 
regularly in the inland areas adjacent to Hudson Bay, 
at least from late November until early January. The 
average kill of polar bears in the Severn and Winisk 
Management areas is 10 to 15 per year. Factors deemed 
adverse to the future of the polar bear in Ontario are 
listed. 



The polar bear, Thalarctos maritimus (Phipps) , has long 
been known to occur in Ontario. There was no specimen of Ontario 
origin preserved in a museum until 194$, when a specimen was collected 
at Cape Henrietta Maria by L. Waldon, a member of a Royal Ontario 
Museum field party. 

There is little available information on the biology of 
this species in Ontario. Downing (1948) states that the polar bear 
is found along the coast of Ontario bordering on Hudson and James 
Bays, and that the Hudson Bay coast of Ontario is within the area 
where the female polar bear hibernates and bears her cubs. 

Sioux Lookout District Wildlife Management Officers have 
collected considerable information about the polar bear during the 
past few years (1950 to 1953)- As more is learned about this inter- 
esting species, it becomes increasingly apparent that it merits con- 
sideration in Ontario's overall management program. This note has 
been prepared in order to consolidate the data we have on file, and 
to emphasize the need for polar bear management. 

Distribution 

The polar bear is regularly found throughout the year 
along the Hudson Bay coast of Ontario. It also occurs along the James 
Bay coast, south to within a few miles of the Attawapiskat River, ac- 
cording to Wo H. Houston, formerly a Hudson's Bay Company employee. 



- 2 - 



Several Indians at Severn and Winisk report that polar 
bears commonly range up to 70-SO miles inland. One report concerns 
tracks seen during two successive winters in a place 105 miles direct' 
ly inland. This place is 142 miles from the coast via the Winisk 
River, the probable route travelled by the bear. Indians have 
observed bears at comparable distances from the coast in the Severn 
drainage basin. Large rivers are not the only avenues serving for 
the long inland wanderings of polar bears. Indians report that 
bears range inland up to 70-$0 miles in the Blackduck River basin, 
northwest of Severn. 

K ill Data 

An attempt has been made to enumerate the Ontario polar 
bear kill during the past three years. The following summarizes the 
findings? 

(Year considered to be from July 1st - June 30th) 

1950-51 - Reported combined kill for Severn and Winisk areas about 
fifteen, about equally divided between the two areas. 

1951-52 - Total kill about eight or ten, largely from the Winisk 

area. One polar bear skull from Severn was donated to the 
Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology and Palaeontology, as was 
one from Winisk. A second skull from Winisk was lost to 
a black bear during preparation. 

1952-53 - Total kill up to March 14th at least eleven, consisting 

of four adults and three cubs, Severn area, and two adults, 
two cubs in the Winisk area. Carcasses of the two cubs 
from the Winisk area were donated to the R.O.M.Z.P, The 
hides of the other nine bears were seen by T. Batchelor 
during March 1953= 

The kill is said to occur principally during December and 
March. Natives report that practically all of the adult polar bears 
killed are females, and that these are usually killed in or about 
exposed dens along the banks of the Severn and Winisk Rivers. Travel 
by trappers is heavier along these rivers than elsewhere. 

Utilization of Polar Bears 

Mr. Wo He Houston related that, two decades ago, Indians 
from Attawapiskat occasionally killed polar bears, although they did 
not deliberately hunt them. During an interview held at Fort Severn, 
in March 1953 , natives reported that they did not hunt polar bears to 
get meat for their own consumption, as the meat is too strong, nor 
for dog food. (Still, the meat is sometimes used incidentally as dog 
food.) Indeed, some natives claimed to have seen polar bears which 
they did not even try to kill. 



T 3 - 

Economic gain seems to be the principal motive behind the 
killing of polar bears at Severn and Winisk. In the spring of 1951* 
the price asked for large hides was as much as .',j>50„00 at Winisk. 
Mr. C. Foreman, Hudson 9 s Bay Company post manager there, explained 
that this was because of a ready market to American tourists at 
Moosonee, where the same hide would bring $65oOO. 

The hide of an adult polar bear sold for u'3 5 »00 in the 
winter of 1951-52, and at the same time two small cub hides sold for 
$5«00 eacho This winter, two three-month old cub hides were sold 
for -^20.00 each at Severn. These prices undoubtedly produce an in- 
centive to hunt polar bears. 

Wandering, Hibernation and Parturition 

Polar bears seem to range mostly along the coast during 
the summer months. One striking exception was that of a polar bear 
seen near the junction of Mink Creek and the Fawn River (100 miles 
inland) during July or August, 193$« 

Mr. J. P. Culliton, of the Provincial Air Service, told us 
that most of the polar bears he has seen during the summer have been 
close to ice floes. Summer wanderings are probably closely governed 
by food supply. 

Mr. Culliton also relates that most of the bears he has 
seen were alone, and only once did he note an exception to this rule, 
when four were seen. Groups of two or more bears probably consist 
of the adult female and her previous winter's cubs. Such groups 
remain intact as late as November, on the basis of an observation 
made by Fr. Gagnon in 1952. 

Indians from Severn and Winisk unanimously agree that 
female polar bears move inland during November, den up, bear young, 
then return to the coast during March or April. Some natives claim 
that males also move inland in November, to escape severe storms, 
then return to the open leads in Hudson Bay after freeze-up, usually 
in December. This point is in dispute. 

Female polar bears restrict their travelling during the 
winter months. An adult female killed with its cubs ©n December 30th, 
1952, in a sort of den in the Winisk area, had not moved more than 
100 feet from one place during the preceding few weeks. 

Indians opine that the adult females usually start to move 
once their cubs are large and strong enough to travel, which is 
usually in March. 

The cubs taken on December 30th, 1952, seemed to be only 
three or four weeks old. A Severn Indian killed three cubs during 
early March, 1953? which he judged to be two or three months old. " 
It thus appears that parturition may occur from late November until 
early January. 



4 - 



Stefansson (1945) states that ''The young are born around 
midwinter, usually two but never more than that, o.o". During March, 
1953? Mr. Mason Koostachin of Severn killed an adult female and three 
cubs, two to three months old, all of which were together , This 
appears to be an instance of the birth of triplet cubs. 

A bundance 

The greatest number of polar bears seen during one trip 
from Severn to Winisk, by Department Officers during the past five 
years, is four, Many flights are made during which none is seen. 
This indicates a low population level . 

The Ontario polar bear population has sustained a kill of 
10-15 during the past few years. We do not know whether this kill 
is depleting the population. Some Indians at Fort Severn think that 
polar bears are now more common than formerly. 

It is the opinion of the authors that there are not more 
than a few hundred polar bears in the province. 

Future of the Ontario Polar Bear 

It seems that purposeful killing of polar bears commenced 
with the advent of air transportation, and has been intensified by 
an expanding demand for hides ever since. 

In the future, increases in the number of sportsmen visit- 
ing James Bay can be expected. Also more and more individuals reach 
the Hudson Bay coast each year. Each individual tourist wealthy 
enough to visit the coast is a potential polar bear hide customer. 

In addition, personnel from defence installations in 
northern places are likely to add to the demand for polar bear hides. 
Some flying wolf hunters have expressed a desire to visit the coast 
and hunt polar bears. 

In short, pressure on the Ontario polar bear is bound to 
increase. In view of the small population, it seems only a question 
of time as to when it will be threatened with extinction, unless pro- 
tective steps are now taken. 

S ummary 

1. The polar bear occurs along Ontario marine coast at least south 
to Attawapiskat , and inland as much as 100 miles. 

2. Total kill of polar bears in the Severn and Winisk Management 
areas has been 10-15 for the past three years. 

3. Animals killed are mostly adult females and cubs. 

4. Money appears to be the main incentive to the hunting of polar 
bears by natives. 



- 5 - 

5. Polar bears are present in Ontario throughout the year. 

6 Parturition occurs regularly in the inland areas adjacent to 
Hudson Bay, at least from late November until early January. 

7. Provincial polar bear population is estimated to be not more 
than a few hundred. 

So Factors adverse to the future of the polar bear in Ontario are 
listed. 

Recommendations 

We feel that the polar bear is now in a position where it 
should be considered as an endangered species in this province, and 
that steps should be taken to curtail the future exploitation of the 
species. 

One way, in which this could be achieved, is that the polar 
bear be prescribed a game animal under the Game and Fisheries Act, 
and that no open season be proclaimed until further notice. 

Literature Cited 

Downing, S. C, 194<3> A provisional check-list of the mammals of 

Ontario. Misc. Publ. No. 2, Roy.. Ont. I-lus. Zool. pp. 1-11. 

Stefansson, V., 1945* Arctic manual. The Macmillan Co., N.Y. 556 pp. 

Addendum I960, by D. W. Simkin 

Little additional information has been accumulated since 
the above report of 1953 was written. 

The annual kill is still running about 10-15 and no increase 
has been noted in the kill since the construction of the Mid-Canada 
Radar Line. 

This spring (i960), we attempted to collect more informa- 
tion on polar bear at our spring trappers* meetings at Winisk and 
Fort Severn. Unfortunately we got little tabulatory data from this 
first effort. However a few general statements can be made as a 
result of our questioning. 

(a) The kill has not increased in recent years, 

(b) The main purpose for shooting polar bears is to collect 
the carcass for dog food (this is contradictory to the 
statement made in the present polar bear paper.) 

(c) The value of the hide has not increased in recent years 
and if anything has decreased since the days of 
Mid-Canada Radar Line construction (1957). The average 
price for good adult hides runs from ,;.15 - $25«00 which 
is not much considering the effort required to obtain 
and prepare it. 

(d) Most Indians questioned stated that they believed the 



6 



polar bear population was at about the same level it 
has always been,, 

I would like to repeat the opinion of the 1953 paper and 
say that we are still concerned with the ultimate fate of this 
species in Ontario if the hunting and fishing regulations for the 
hinterland area were liberalized. Undoubtedly this would result in 
an increased kill by both natives and '■' sportsmen" to the detriment 
of this not too plentiful species <■ It is felt that if hunting and 
fishing were ever allowed in the hinterland area the advent of tourism 
in the country would necessitate regulations such as Cringan et al 
suggested,, However at this date there seems to be little danger of 
overutilization of this species. 



- 7 - 

PRELIMINARY DEER INVESTIGATIONS 

IN THE ESPANOLA 

FORESTRY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT UNIT, SUDBURY DISTRICT 

by 

D. A. Mulligan and L. L. Trodd 

Abstract 

Preliminary deer investigations were carried out in 
the Victoria - Salter township area of Sudbury District 
during the period April 2^th to May 17th, I960. This 
study was instigated when William Maslen, forester 
for the area, noted severe damage to forest reproduc- 
tion due to extreme deer browsing. A combined dead 
deer, area utilization and browse survey was conducted. 
Thirty-eight dead deer or a calculated seventy-eight 
per square mile were found. The area utilization was 
22,173 deer days per square mile, i.e. 110 deer per 
square mile or 202 deer per square mile, depending upon 
what figure is used as the yarding period. The maples 
(red, mountain, striped and sugar) form the major 
browse species of the area. While the browse production 
density for the area was 6,765 sterns per acre, this 
figure is misleading according to the authors insofar 
as potential food production is concerned. Due to the 
severity of the browsing, twig development has been 
seriously retarded. The area has been designated as 
a forestry-wildlife management unit, to be managed by 
silvi cultural and wildlife management methods, for the 
production of wildlife and pulpwood. It is recommended 
that in order to successfully apply such silvicultural 
methods, a special late season be made to harvest the 
deer while they are in an accessible area, and thereby 
reduce the herd to a manageable size. 



I ntroduction 

When a species, whether plant or animal, approaches the 
limits of its natural range, sharp fluctuations in its numbers may 
be expected. Much of Sudbury's deer range is considered marginal and 
the fluctuations follow almost as a corollary. 

Early in 1959 Wm. Maslen, forester with the Espanola divi- 
sion of the Sudbury district, began to draw up his forest management 
plans for the area. While cruising Victoria and Salter townships 
he noted that the regeneration of several species was seriously 
retarded or completely killed off by excessive deer browsing. With 
this problem in mind he approached the Fish and Wildlife branch to 
assist him in drawing up a master forestry wildlife management plan. 



D escription of the Area 

The area covered in this report represents the accessible 
portion of some 42 square miles of winter deer range lying within 
Victoria and Salter townships (Map 1). It shows a mixed hardwood- 
conifer cover with white birch, trembling aspen, sugar maple, red 
maple, balsam fir and white spruce predominating. Topographically 
the area is broken up by long granite ridges, which form numerous 
outcroppings running in an east west direction. Glacial granitic 
till makes up the soil, varying in texture from a sand to a sandy loam. 

The mean snow depth for 1959-60 was 16.2 inches with a 
maximum of 26.8 inches during the week of February 29th, I960. 
Throughout the period February 8th to March 8th there was more than 
21 inches of snow on the ground, with an average depth for the period 
of 25.1 inches. 

Information gathered from local residents indicates that 
the major logging of this area ended during the 1920-26 period. The 
early fire history of the area is scanty, but it appears that a major 
fire north of Massey laid bare a large portion of five or six townships 
in the 1915-16 period. The last recorded log drive occurred in the 
spring of 1924 on the Sauble River. Some cutting of hemlock in the 
Walford area took place as late as 1939-40. Since that time the cutting 
in this area has been confined to the removal of pulpwood. 

Reports from the older local residents, including the former 
game warden, indicate that this area north of Highway 17 supported a 
high deer population during the 20 ? s, 30 v s and 40 v s, with a peak 
population about 1923-24. Some of the remaining early settlers main- 
tain that there were no deer in the area at the turn of the century 
and it wasn ? t until the start of the First World War that they started 
to appear in the vicinity. They then multiplied rapidly until 
residents found it was possible to successfully hunt within a short 
distance of the town. In many cases deer were shot within the town 
limits. It appears then that the decline started in the early 30 9 s, 
proceeded gradually until 1945, then speeded up during the 1945-1955 
interval. From 1955 to the present time there has been a drastic 
reduction in the deer herd. This has been very apparent in the number 
of dead deer found during the past two winters. 

Methods 

While silviculture plans were being drawn up, preliminary 
wildlife surveys were started this springe It had been hoped that an 
aerial survey during the winter months, of the winter range, might 
be carried out, but due to inclement weather and conflicting programs 
the aircraft was not available. We, therefore, relied on the maps 
prepared during our winter cruises to delineate the study area (Map l), 



9 



A. Yard Utilization 



An estimate of the degree to which the deer were utilizing 
the area during the winter months was obtained from a pellet group 
count during the period April 2$ to May 17, I960. We are hesitant to 
base our population estimate on this technique as no record was made 
of the arrival and departure of the wintering herd. (Very few deer 
remain beyond the wintering period in the area under study) „ 

Transect lines traversing the topography in a direction N 
20 degrees E were run from East to West across the study area. The 
number of pellet groups found in plots 66 feet by 6.6 feet located 
at five chain centre to centre intervals along these lines, were 
recorded. The following formula (1) was used to give us our degree 
of utilization in deer dayss 

a verage. no 9 of pellet groups per plot x 100 x 640 = Deer/Sq. 

12.7 Days/Mi, 

B. Dead Deer 

A dead deer survey was carried out coincidental with the 
yard utilization and browse surveys. Two wing men paralleled at a 
distance of one chain the centre man who compassed the transect lines. 
All carcasses falling within the three chain strip were recorded as 
winter kills. Since it soon became evident that most of the carcasses 
were torn up by wolves and/or foxes and dogs, we had to decide what 
would constitute a carcass. Four legs or one leg and a skull were 
considered the minimum parts necessary to be recorded as a carcass. 
At each carcass^ a search was made for additional bones and when 
carcasses were found on adjacent plots or lines a check was made to 
determine the exact number of animals found. Condition of the carcass, 
age, marrow conditions, location and forest type were recorded where- 
ver possible (Table II). Jaws of animals older than age class one 
were collected wherever possible. Dead deer per unit area (square 
miles) was calculated from the following formula (2)s 

N o. of dead deer found x 43 . 56 x 640 « A A A .-, 

~T7rz : — 7- — a^-a-i J±— ... dead deer per square mile. 

iyo x total length of survey lines 

C. Vegetation 

As previously indicated a browse survey was conducted 
simultaneously with the yard utilization and dead deer surveys. At 
each plot examined for crotesings a wing man would come in to assist 
the chain man in tallying while the other man did the recording. 
The method followed was a modification of the Passmore-Hepburn 
technique (1955) o Total number of stems per species per plot was 
recorded with number browsed per species per plot (i.e. % stems browsed) 
replacing the usual information on twig browsing recorded under st B ?9 
column of the tally form. Available browse was considered to be that 
portion of the trees and shrubs between 1.5 feet and 6.5 feet above 
the ground. Mutilation and mortality brought about by excessive 
browsing, were also recorded. A description of the forest stand and 
site was made for each plot. 



- 10- 



Survey Results and Discussion 

The Victoria yard is an old established wintering area for 
deer. The damage to regeneration, brought about by the herd, is 
outstanding and it is evident that corrective measures must be taken 
to assure the perpetuity of both the deer and the forest,, Without 
these measures we can expect a continued decline of the herd and 
further damage to regeneration „ How to reduce the herd so that cutting 
practices will stimulate additional regeneration and browse production 
is our foremost problem. It was noted during the hunting season 
November 1 to November 25> 1959 > the number of deer harvested from 
this area was remarkably low when compared to the wintering population. 
Further observations have indicated that the deer move into the area 
late in December, With this situation existing it is almost impossible 
to appreciably reduce the herd size by legal harvesting during the 
present season. We will concede that if the situation is allowed to 
continue as it is today the herd will be reduced to the level we 
desire, but those deer lost through predation, starvation, accident, 
etc. would be better utilized from the public's and our standpoint, 
if legally harvested. The heed of a legal reduction of the herd 
brings up our first management recommendations, — that a special 
season be passed, that the length and dates of the season be determined 
by those in charge of the project, that the area be heavily enforced 
during the season and data and material be collected during the harvest. 

A. Wintering Concentration 

Nine hundred and five pellet groups were found on the 204 
plots taken along the transect lines. This is an average of 4.4 
crotesings per plot. Using formula (1) the calculated utilization 
of the area by the deer herd is 22,173 deer days. 

4 .4 x 100 x 640 = _ ._. . . 

12„7 22,173 .4/square mile. 

4.4 - average number of crotesings per plots 
100 - conversion factor to acres; 
640 - number of acres per square mile;; 
12,7 - theoretical number of crotesings deposited per deer per day. 

B. Dead Deer 

A total of 3$ carcasses were located along 13 miles of 
transect lines. This figure inserted in formula (2) produced a cal- 
culated winter kill of 7$ per square mile. 

3 8 x 43, 560 x 640 - _ d . . 

198 x 68,508 73.1/square mile. 

38 - number of dead deer found" 
43 } 560 - number of square feet per acre; 

640 - number of acres per square mile; 

198 - width of survey strip in feet; 
68,508 - length of survey line in feet. 



- 11 



While this is a higher calculated winter mortality than was found in 
any of the districts surveyed in the spring of 1959* it is not sur- 
prising when the situation is analyzed. 

1. The area produces a minimum of winter cover and browse . 

2. The area supports a high concentration of deer during the critical 
winter periodo 

3. At least one pack of wolves traverses the area regularly during 
the critical period and during the 1959-60 season four dogs were 
shot in the area while running deer. 

Combining the calculated winter mortality and winter area 
utilisation figures, a clearer picture of the problem develops. If 
we assume the leafless period, i.e. the wintering period, to be 200 
days, we calculate that our wintering concentration in the area 
surveyed to be 110 deer per square mile. Based on this figure and 
the calculated winter kill figure, we might then assume that our 
winter losses were 70% of the wintering herd. However, as noted 
before, the herd does not move into the Victoria yard before late 
December and our observations indicated they had left by mid-April. 
This then gives us a wintering period of approximately 110 days and 
a concentration of 202 deer per square mile. With this figure we 
might then assume that our winter losses from the Victoria herd to 
be in the neighbourhood of 39%. This is perhaps a more realistic 
figure in view of the conditions present. 

C. Browse Conditions 

One hundred and fifty-four plots were examined for browse 
conditions. The results may be found in Table III. Species are 
listed in order of per cent relative density, showing the number of 
living stems of each species per acre and the degree of browsing each 
species received recorded as per cent stems browsed. The number of 
dead stems per acre is also recorded in this table as is per cent 
relative frequency of living stems. Mutilation was noted to be high 
particularly in those species which showed heavy 1959-60 utilization. 

The maples, red, mountain, striped and sugar appear to be 
the most important browse species of this' area from a utilization 
availability standpoint. Figure II illustrates the availability 
distribution picture of the leading species of the area. Per cent 
relative density indicates the order of abundance of the species 
present while per cent relative frequency indicates the distribution 
of these species. For example, while hazel ranked second in abundance 
its lower per cent relative frequency indicated a greater degree of 
clumping and lower distribution throughout the area. Sugar maple, 
on the other hand, with a high per cent relative frequency shows a 
more uniform distribution. 



- 12 - 



Thirty woody species were recorded present as available 
browse in the area,. The four maples plus hazel made up 60% of this 
available browse,, Balsam fir while constituting only 5«4% of the 
available winter food, undoubtedly plays a more significant role in 
browse availability due to its growth form. 

D. Timber Types and Their Utilization 

The forest type was classified according to the following 
methods 

Conifer Over 75% conifer 

Conifer-hardwood 50-75% conifer 

Kardwood-conif er 25-50% conifer 

Hardwood 0-25% conifer 

Swamp Bogs and swamps (excluding cedar) 

Open Rock outcroppings 

It was found using this method that the cover composition of the area 
was as follows; 



Hardwood 


39% 


Conifer-hardwood 


13% 


Conifer 


17% 


Hardwood- conifer 


15% 


Open 


12% 


Swamp 


4% 



If the degree of utilization of each cover type is compared by cal- 
culating the percentage of crotesings found under each type, we find: 



Hardwood 


29% 


Conifer-hardwood 


23% 


Conifer 


21% 


Hardwood- conifer 


Wo 


Open 


$% 


Swamp 


1% 



Figure 1 - compares the percentage of sample plots located in 
different forest stands and the degree of utilization as indicated by 
the pellet group count. It should be noted that the cover composition 
which is 50% or more conifer, receives more than 40% utilization, 
while only showing a 30% availability. This should be kept in mind 
when cutting and reforestation plans are drawn up. Heavy interspeci- 
fic competition was noted in many parts of the area under examination. 
Mouse damage was particularly prominent, with girdling of the maples 
and birchs outstanding. Several snowshoe hareswere seen during the 
study and in many instances hare browsing was recorded. 



-13- 



S ummary and Conclusions 

The Victoria yard was mapped by a ground crew during the 
winter of 19 59-60 „ The portion of the yard examined during May I960 
is assumed to have supported a wintering density between 110 and 202 
deer per square mile. The winter mortality of the area examined was 
calculated to be 73 per square mile, i.e. 70% or 39% of the wintering 
herd population depending upon which wintering density is used in the 
calculation. We feel the latter density and mortality rate are the 
most realistic. 

An attempt must be made to reduce the herd before silvi- 
culture practices are applied to improve habitat conditions. A late 
hunting season is recommended. 

The area has produced a good quantity of browse, 6765 stems 
per acre, but due to the heavy concentration of deer the browse 
potential is being exceeded by the intensive utilization. This 
production density figure of 6765 may be misleading if considered as 
a browse availability value. Severe browsing has retarded twig 
development and if the same browsing pressure is applied to this 
regeneration in the future it is expected that heavy sapling mortality 
will result. 

The more shade tolerant species, particularly the maples 
make up the bulk of the available winter food. This may be due to 
a combination of past forestry practices plus the exceedingly high 
deer concentrations. Situated in an area where pulpwood production 
is an important industry the removal of conifers such as balsam fir 
and white spruce plays an important part in altering the forest 
composition. 

With the high deer density present in the area there appears 
to be very little hope of immediately improving the area surveyed for 
pulpwood production. We would, therefore, suggest that it be managed, 
in the future, as a combined wildlife-forestry unit, through silvi- 
cultural and wildlife techniques. The initial attempt will be to 
increase the regeneration and sucker production of certain preferred 
browse and cover species. 

a cknowledgrnent s 

We are indebted to Don Hughson and Doug. Gillespie for 
their assistance in conducting the survey and to Bill Ma si en for the 
interest he has taken in the project. Credit must also be given to 
Charlie Bibby and Doug. Gillespie, for without their help and criti- 
cism, this brief might never have been written. 



-U- 



MAP NO. I - 



/ 




bra - 



/ / / - 



Area Sampled 

Boundary of Wintering Area 

Township Roads 

River 

Highway No. 17 



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- 17 



TABLE II - 




























Hardwood- 


Conif er- 


Hardwood 


Conifer 


Open 


Swamp 


Conifer 


Hardwood 


B ?? 


B 


?? 


B ?? 


3 ?? 


B 


Id 


B 


?? 


B ?? 


B 


?? 


S ?? 


B 69x 


B 


?? 


B 


?? 


B 3<* 


3 


1? 


T ?? 




3 


?? 


B 


1? 


S ?? 


B 


1? 


T 1? 




B 


?? 


B 


?? 


T 3<* 


B 


1? 


T 52 




B 


?? 


B 


?? 


T ?? 


S 


? ? 






B 

o 
o 

T 


? ? 
1? 

?? 


S 
S 
T 

T 
T 


?? 
?? 
?? 
?? 
?? 


7 




6 


5 


2 




3 


10 



Age class -123456? 

Number found -702011 27 

Location Bottom Top Side 

Number found 23 9 6 

Legend 

x = Femur marrow red and gelatinous 

B a bottom T s top S = side of ridge 

? = age unknown ?? = age and sex unknown 

1 (numeral) - age class d or 9 = sex 



TABLE III - 



- 18 - 



Species 



Red Maple 

Hazel 

fountain Maple 

Sugar Maple 

Striped Maple 

Raspberry 

Speckled Alder 

Tremblin Aspen 

Balsam Fir 

Willow 

Sumac 

Black Ash 

White Birch 

Honeysuckle Sp„ 

Unidentified Sp. A. 

Large Tooth Asp. 

Blackberry 

White Pine 

White Spruce 

Balsam Poplar 

Red Oak 

Black Cherry 

Hornbeam 

Red Elderberry 

Pin Cherry 

Elm 

Yellow Birch 

White Cedar 

Red Pine 

Hemlock 



Percent 
No. Living No* Dead Utili- 
St ems/ a ere Sterns/Acre zation 



Percent Percent 
Relative Relative 
Density Frequency 



1115 


13 


80 


1.6 o 5 


14*7 


960 


23 


35 


1/492 


9.1 


917 


53 


82 


13.6 


7o9 


798 


47 


47 


11.8 


9.7 


439 


13 


94 


7.2 


5.3 


345 





6 


5-1 


3.4 


300 





12 


4 4 


2.5 


277 


15 


52 


4d 


5.1 


232 


21 


30 


3.4 


7.4 


204 


9 


40 


3.0 


5.1 


183 


28 


100 


2.7 


2.3 


183 


2 


20 


2.7 


2.8 


166 


21 


33 


2.5 


5.0 


162 





9 


2 4 


3.8 


109 





26 


1.6 


1.1 


74 


19 


74 


1.1 


3.4 


49 


4 


65 


-1.0 


1.1 


45 


2 





-1.0 


3.0 


43 


4 


20 


-1.0 


2.8 


34 


4 


56 


-1.0 


1.3 


26 





12 


-1.0 


-1.0 


21 








-1.0 


-1.0 


11 








-1.0 


-1.0 


6 


2 


100 


1.0 


-1.0 


6 


4 


67 


-1.0 


-1.0 


2 








-1.0 


-1.0 


2 





100 


-1.0 


-1.0 


2 





100 


-1.0 


-1.0 


2 








-1.0 


-1.0 


2 








-1.0 


-1.0 



Since filing our report on the Massey Forestry - Wildlife 
Management Unit investigations, we have been receiving questions from 
several quarters regarding the same. The foremost question concerns 
the proposed late season harvest. 

In preparing our report we were reluctant to expand on several 
of the points brought out due to the lack of time for proper analysis 
and the desire to outline what we had found as factually and concisely 
as possible. We are sorry if this brevity left loopholes in our story 
and hope that this explanation of our late season proposal will further 
clear the picture of the situation as it exists in our area. Four 
points stand out which suggest that a late season harvest would be a 
wise management tool in this situation. 



- 19 - 

1. The wintering area shows serious signs of over-browsing and a 
reduction of the herd (i.e. browsing pressure) is of absolute 
necessity before silvicultural practices can be expected to 
stimulate the browse and cover production necessary to improve 
the area. 

2. The overall area where the deer are to be found throughout the 
year is relatively inaccessible due to a lack of roads and the 
rugged topography of the country. It is not until approximately 
mid-December that the deer move into the southern portion of 
their range where a few roads will provide hunter access. 

3. A late harvest in this critical area may provide us with further 
information on the age class distribution and condition (i.e. 
parasite and disease burden) of an overpopulated deer herd. Due 
to the nature of the road system and the timing of the season, we 
should be in a position to examine thoroughly a large portion of 
the animals removed. 

k . The last and probably the most basic point for this recommendation 
is that the suggested harvest is a wise and realistic use of our 
natural resource which at the present time is being wasted by 
underharvest . 

To enlarge on the foregoing points of our proposal, we would 
like first to delineate the area that might be considered for the hunt. 
The area is penetrated to the north from Highway #17 west by eleven 
roads. Two roads Highway #553 (the Massey Tote Road) and the Water- 
falls Resort road running north from Spanish, penetrate the country 
to the greatest extent in a northerly direction. These two roads will 
serve as the bases of our east and west boundaries. The eastern bound- 
ary will be Highway #553 north to Paddies Creek while the western limit 
will be the Waterfalls Resort road north to Crabb, Lang, Little Serpent 
and finally Bellows Lake, which serves as the north-west corner of 
the proposed hunting area. Running east from Bellows Lake through 
Snapshot, Bean and Paddies Lakes to Paddies Creek on the eastern 
periphery will be the northern limit of the hunting ground. Highway 
#17 west from Massey to Spanish will serve as our southern line. The 
enclosed map 31 shows the limits of the wintering area, the access roads 
and our proposed boundaries. x (This large map accompanied the original 
report and is on file in the Maple Fish and Wildlife library). 

With the end of our normal deer and ruffed grouse season the 
personnel of the Sudbury District will be in a position to concentrate 
on this special enforcement problem. The area is nicely located through 
its restricted road system to facilitate hunter checks. 

Setting the dates of the season will be a minor problem. 
The movement of the deer into the wintering area is governed, to a 
large extent by the weather. As we have pointed out before our 
observations indicate that yarding begins approximately mid-December 
and the deer are in an area where a harvest would be practical. 
Should a special season for I960 be not feasible, we would like to 
check further this winter, before setting an opening date. If a I960 



- 20 - 



season is in order, Monday, December 12, 19^0 would serve as a 
suitable commencement of the hunt. The length of the harvest is 
another problem,, Ideally the duration of the hunt should be determined 
by the harvest. If we could calculate an allowable kill, perhaps 
based on our winter kill figure, we might attempt to close the season 
when our calculated kill is attained by the hunterso However, due to 
the enforcement difficulties we might encounter, with such a programme, 
we would like to recommend a seven day harvest. 

Finally, we were aware that such a precedent setting season 
might be met with some opposition by the local residents and accor- 
dingly approached them with our idea,, Our proposal has met with no 
opposition to date. We intend to hold a meeting at a later date to 
discuss the problem and let the residents voice their feelings. 

R eferences 

Passmore, R» C. and R„ L„ Hepburn, 1955» 

A method for appraisal of winter range of deer. Ont . Dept. 
of Lands and Forests, Research Branch, Techn. Bull., 7 pp. 



- 21 - 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEER MANAGEMENT ON ESPANOLA 
MULTIPLE USE MANAGEMENT UNIT 

by 

Ho Go Gumming and A B o Stephenson 

Abstract 

Victoria and Salter townships in the Espanola 
Management Unit of Sudbury district are to be used for 
experiments in combining the management of timber and 
deer. The area is described and its position on the 
northern edge of deer range is emphasized. General 
principles to be followed in planning timber Operations 
to include benefits to deer lead to specific 
suggestions for these areas. It is suggested that the 
experiment would not be complete without an effort to 
assess the effectiveness of any management procedures 
that are undertaken. 



This report presents recommendations for deer habitat 
management on the two townships of Victoria and Salter in Espanola 
Management Unit of the Sudbury District, The two townships have been 
suggested for an experiment in multiple use management. Included in 
the over-all plans would be an effort at deer habitat management. In 
particular, an attempt would be made to integrate the management of 
deer and timber on the area. The recommendations included in this 
report are concerned with the improving of deer habitat by silvicult- 
ural methods. 

The area in questions is on the Pre-Cambrian Shield, This 
means that it is not highly productive for deer, because only inferior 
quality deer food can be produced on Pre-Cambrian soils. The original 
stands on the area were mostly white pine. These were cut long ago 
and a second growth of mixed intolerant hardwoods and conifers is now 
reaching the merchantable stage. It is at present heavily over- 
utilized by deer in some places due to the reduction of available 
browse by the maturing of the forest,, This will have an effect on 
future forest composition because balsam is being suppressed on these 
areas. With this deteriorating browse condition on our hands we must 
either improve the habitat or be satisfied with much lower levels of 
deer than have been present in the past. 

We must realize that this part of Ontario is on the extreme 
northern edge of the deer range. A few deer can be found farther 
north but the great concentrations of deer are more to the south. The 
accumulation of deep snow on the ground in combination with cold 
winters seems to be the limiting factor in the northward spread of 
deer. Since this area is near the extremity of the deer range it is 
inevitable that occasional hard winters will reduce the deer population. 
Despite this fact there is no reason why substantial numbers of deer 



- 22 - 

cannot be maintained through normal winters. The occasional losses 
will just have to be anticipated and ignored. 

Because of the unfavourable environmental conditions all 
survival factors become critical. Good supplies of food are required 
to maintain the deer throughout the hard northern winters. On this 
area the browse will mainly be supplied by hardwood and balsam 
regeneration. Shelter is also essential in protecting deer. Hard- 
woods are of little value for shelter so we must turn to conifers to 
provide this requirement. Thus, it becomes necessary to maintain a 
proper mixture of hardwood and balsam regeneration with adequate 
coniferous cover in order to maintain maximum deer production. We 
wish to bring this about through planned silvi cultural operations. 

Some general principles can be stated with which all future 
silvicultural operations should conform in order to be of most benefit 
to deers 

1. Any cutting of hardwoods will be beneficial to deer by providing 
more food* 

2. Large stands of conifers with over fifty per cent crown density 
should be broken up. The interiors of such stands are of little 
value to wintering deer due to the distance deer would have to 
travel to find food. When the conifers are broken into small 
stands the deer can use them for shelter and range into the 
surrounding young regeneration for food. 

3. All cutting units should be kept small in size. No single block 
of over five acres should be cut. 

4. Immediate cutting operations should be directed near known deer 
wintering areas. It may be possible to establish cutting plans 
so that future operations will gradually radiate from the present 
deer wintering areas. In this way deer will be drawn from their 
present over-browsed yards into the nearby regeneration. Cuts 
that are located too far from present wintering areas may not be 
found by deer for some years. 

5. The management plan for the area should establish a rotation 
system of cutting to ensure an optimum interspersion of coniferous 
cover and regeneration for food. 



■ t v 



If these general management procedures are followed there should soon 
be an improvement in present deer food supplies. Available food would 
then be maintained at a fairly constant level to provide conditions 
suitable for a stable deer herd. We do not anticipate any problems 
with deer suppressing regeneration because of the location of the area 
in the extreme limit of the deer range and because of the large 
quantity of regeneration which will develop under controlled cutting. 

From general suggestions we can go on to specific management 
techniques. In order to direct immediate cutting into or near deer 
yards we must know where the yards are. This means that an aerial 
mapping of the deer yards is required. Such mapping may have to be 



- 23 - 

undertaken annually if the deer move around very much,, When cutting 
within deer yards only hardwoods should be cut. The conifers should 
be left to provide shelter. In cuts outside deer wintering areas 
both hardwoods and conifers can be cut, Strip cuts, block cuts and 
selection cuts are all beneficial to deer. Strip cuts should be run 
north-east and south-west as the best compromise between the require- 
ments of good regeneration and good deer utilization., The strip 
should be about two chains wide out of a ten chain cutting unit a 
Then if four years are allowed between cuts, the total unit will have 
been cut in a 20 to 24 year period a By this time regeneration on the 
first strips should be such that it will provide shelter for deer 
feeding on the more recently cut strips. Block cuts may be of any 
irregular shape depending on local topography and timber stands but 
should be restricted to two or three acres in size. Selection cuts 
can be used for removing the hardwood from deer wintering areas. 

It is doubtful if any planting would be of much benefit 
toward the goal of increasing deer food. Since this is not a lime- 
stone area it is not expected that cedar would ever' be of major 
importance. If planting is undertaken, it should be carried out in 
areas where the seedlings will not be initially vulnerable to 
browsing, i.e. remote from present deer yards. Some stimulation of 
growth may be accomplished by brushing out shrubs with axes, by using 
herbicides and controlled burning and by scarifying with bulldozers 
equipped with root rakes. However, it is expected that regeneration 
satisfactory for forestry purposes would also provide adequate food 
for deer. 

In order that we may determine the effectiveness of these 
management methods we strongly recommend that some effort be made to 
assess the results. Three techniques may be used. A control area 
may be established within the management unit so that conditions in 
the cutting areas may be compared with those which would have occurred 
if no cutting had been undertaken. Spring browse surveys, pellet 
group counts and dead deer counts should be undertaken by the Fish and 
Wildlife Branch. No permanent lines should be put in for these but 
permanent survey units should be mapped out. If five units were set 
up to be done on a six year rotation for browse surveys and three 
years for pellet group counts, the production of food and numbers of 
deer in each survey unit could be compared with original estimates 
when the re-survey is carried out. The Fish and Wildlife Branch 
should also undertake to make some estimate of the number of deer 
killed by hunters during the open season each year. The accuracy of 
such estimates will depend to a large extent on how well it is possible 
to control the access of hunters to the area, but at least an effort 
should be made to find out if there is any increase in hunter success. 

It is felt that this undertaking should be treated as a pilot 
project and a report should be published as soon as any definite 
results are obtained., Such a report should help to expedite similar 
habitat management efforts in other deer problem areas throughout 
Ontario. 



- 24 - 

KENORA DISTRICT WOLF INVENTORY, 1959-1960 

by 
M. Linklater 



Abstract 

Information is given on distribution, population data, 
sex ratios and expenditure for bounty claims en wolves 
in the Kenora District , The major range of the timber 
wolf is in the western portion of the District in an 
area of approximately 6,000 square miles with wolves 
and deer occurring in good numbers- The brush wolf 
is present in fewer numbers being found mainly adjacent 
to settled areas. It is considered relatively unimpor- 
tant as a predator of big game at the present time. 
During the fiscal year ending March 31> I960, some 177 
timber and 3 5 brush wolves were presented for bounty 
representing a total expenditure of . : : p5*300.00. The 
sex ratio of bountied timber wolves was 161 males to 
100 females while the sex ratio of brush wolves was 
63 males to 100 females. The population of wolves 
based on the number harvested from year to year appears 
to have remained fairly stable. 



I ntroduction 

Information contained in this report concerns wolves in the 
Kenora wildlife Management District , hereinafter called the Kenora 
District, an area of approximately 14>900 square miles. 

Two species of wolves are found in the District, namely the 
timber wolf, ( Canis lupus) and the brush wolf ( Canis latrans ) , 

The timber wolf is of primary importance because of its 
distribution and numbers throughout our better deer range. 

Not so important as a big game predator is the brush wolf. 
The major part of this report will, therefore, deal primarily with 
the timber wolf since this species is present in greater numbers. 
Some brief data on the brush wolf will be included in the final 
analysis. 

Timber Wolf Distribution 

It is apparent that although deer and wolves occur through- 
out the entire District, they are found concurrently in greater numbers 
in the western portion of the District, The major range of this 
carnivore embraces an area of approximately 6000 miles. This area is 



- 25 - 

bounded on the west by the Manitoba border" embraces the Lake of the 
Woods, extends eastward to the vicinity of Vermilion Bay and north 
into the Sioux Lookout District . (see attached map) The basis for 
employing only two colours on the map of comparative abundance is 
that it illustrates much better the major timber wolf range as it 
appears at the present time. The number of wolves may vary within 
this range. They are spotted frequently during the winter months, 
with sign being very common. There are areas within the blue colour 
scheme that perhaps harbour more wolves than elsewhere, but to try 
and isolate these areas would be misleading at best. There is no 
doubt that the range of the various packs overlap one another through- 
out the major range of this animal. 

P opulation Data 

It is not possible to determine the actual number of wolves 
harboured in the District at the present time, and to try and estimate 
the population would be strictly guess work on our parte 

We feel that all we can do for the present is to record 
the trend based on the number of animals harvested from year to year. 
Date extracted from wolf bounty records for the past nine years 
indicate the population has remained fairly stable during this period. 
Fluctuations in the harvest appear from year to year but only on a 
minor scale. 

The greatest number of wolves harvested in any one year 
during the nine years was in 1957-5$ when 236 wolves were killed. 
The mean production for the nine years was 153 wolves annually or one 
wolf harvested for every 38 square miles in the District. 

All wolf kills for the above period of time were plotted 

on a 24A map of the District. When this work was completed, it was 

obvious that the eastern part of the District is relatively unimpor- 
tant as timber wolf habitat. 

An analysis of the foregoing data shows that approximately 
90 percent of all wolves harvested originated from the western portion 
of the District. Applying these data to the major timber wolf range 
indicates that one wolf was harvested for every 40 square miles of 
territory lying in this area. 

B ountied Wolves 

During the fiscal year ending Larch 31/60, a total of 
177 timber wolves were presented for bounty purposes. Of this number, 
160 were taken in the Kenora District. Th j remaining 17 wolves were 
killed elsewhere but were processed through this District Office. 

The annual harvest of wolves is governed largely by the 
amount of pressure applied by airborne hunters. During the past year 
there were 45 permits issued to hunt predatory animals from aircraft. 
As usual, this category of hunters accounted for over 50 percent of 
the total kill. Trappers snared about 30 percent while the remaining 
20 percent was accounted for by other methods. 



- 26 - 

3ounty claims processed through our District Office amounted 
to r 4,425.00 on timber wolves and |>S75«00 on brush wolves, a total 
of 1^5 > 300 e 00 which is just about average for any one year, 

TABLE I - Sex Ratio of Timber Wolves - April 1st, 1959 
to March 31st, I960 



Method of Kill 



Snared 
Trapped 
Shot 

Aircraft Kill 
Cars, etc. 
Unspecified 

TOTALS 

Sex Unknown 
GRAND TOTAL 



Numbers 


Killed 


6 


9 


23 


17 


8 


7 


11 


7 


58 


32 


2 


2 


3 


nil 


105 


65 



Totals 



Sex Ratios 



40 

15 

18 

90 

4 

3 



170 



13 5 s 100 

114 % 100 

157 i 100 

181 s 100 

100 % 100 



161 °, 100 



177 



An analysis of bounty records dating back to 1951 indicates 
a preponderance of males to females o The mean ratio for the nine year 
period being 149 males to 100 females . The sex ratio for the past 
year was no exception as shown in the foregoing table « It is not 
known whether this unbalance is due to the method of harvesting or 
not. The only method of kill which shows a more balanced ratio 
for the nine year period is that of trapping^ two years out of the 
nine show more females killed than males by this means. It may be 
that trapping is the impartial method to properly assess the sex 
ratio but the number taken each year by this method is far too small 
to prove conclusively that this is the case. 

The Brush Wolf 



The brush wolf or coyote as it is sometimes called is 
present but in fewer numbers than the timber wolf. 

This species is found more or less adjacent to areas that 
have been settled » It is believed to be relatively unimportant as 
a predator of big game at the present time. However, it is important 
enough to warrant the same attention as given to the timber wolf. 

During the past year, a total of 3 5 brush wolves were killed 
in the Kenora District. This number represents an increase of 22% 
over the previous yearns harvest when 27 were presented for bounty 
purposes. 



- 2? - 

TABLE II - Sex Ratio of Brush Wolves - April 1st, 
1959 to March 31st , I960 



M ethod of Kill Numbers Kill ed 

d 9 



Snared 1 nil 

Trapped nil 1 

Shot 1 5 

Aircraft Kill 7 3 

Oth^r nil 4 

Unspecified 3 1 

TOTaLS 12 19 



Sex Unknown 
GRaND TOTAL 



Totals 


Sex 


Ratios 




6 


9 


1 




_ 


1 




- 


6 


20 


1 100 


15 


37 


I 100 


4 




- 


4 


300 
63 


S 100 


31 


S 100 


4 




3 5 







S ummary 

The Kenora Wildlife Management District encompasses an area 
of approximately 14>900 square mileso 

The major range of the timber wolf is situated in the 
western portion of the District, or in an area of approximately 
6,000 square miles with wolves and deer occurring concurrently in 
good numbers. 

During the past year, a total of 177 timber and 3 5 brush 
wolves were presented for bounty purposes representing a total 
expenditure of ^ 5? 300. 00. 

The sex ratio of bountied timber wolves was 161 males to 
100 females. In direct contrast is the sex ratio of brush wolves of 
63 males to 100 females. 

The population of wolves, based on the number harvested 
from year to year appears to have remained fairly stable with only 
minor fluctuations in numbers. 

During the past year one wolf was harvested for every 3$ 
square miles in the District. All wolf kills were plotted on a map 
of the District. This work, when completed, indicated that approxi- 
mately 90% of all wolves harvested originated from the western portion 
of the District. Applying these data to the major timber wolf range 
indicates that one wolf was harvested for every 40 square miles in 
this area. 



CD 


H 


3 


rH 


H 


CD 


2Q 


>H 


* — 


' 


c 


CD 


o 


O 


S 


fn 


S 


ctf 


o 


o 


o 


en 



| 

/x 




— 




- 29 - 

IMPOUNDMENTS IN ONTARIO (1957) 

by 

Jo Mo Fraser 



Abstract 

In order to make a general appraisal of impoundments in 
Ontario, a one month ? s inspection tour of some 18 
Ontario impoundments was undertaken.. In addition, 
visits were made to the Tennessee Valley Authority and 
the office of the U. So River Basin Studies at Boston, 
Ontario impoundments fall into two types; those created 
to produce hydro-electric power and those designed for 
flood control o The majority of hydro-electric im- 
poundments are located on water systems inhabited by 
warm water species of fish. Angling pressure here 
may be classed as very light to moderate and angling 
success comparable to that of non-controlled waters. 
Topics such as size, site, recreational aspects and 
the effect of water level manipulation on fish popu- 
lations are discussed. With the location in more 
densely populated southern Ontario of impoundments 
for water control, fish, wildlife and especially 
recreational aspects of these impoundments take on 
greater significance. Although certain generalizations 
may be made on impoundments each is deemed sufficiently 
different from the other to make specific recommenda- 
tions hazardous. In general, it is recommended that 
a multi-purpose concept be adopted as policy and that 
branches responsible for land, water and fish and 
wildlife maintain an integrated approach to the uses 
of impoundments- A closer liaison between the 
Department and the agencies or authorities which oper- 
ate dams is also recommended. 



Introduction 

The purpose of this paper is to provide a general appraisal 
of the impoundments located in Ontario and the relationship of fish, 
wildlife and recreational values to these impoundment s This 
appraisal is based on a one month 9 s tour of some eighteen Ontario 
impoundments during which time the writer inspected the impoundments, 
conversed with the regulating authorities, local Lands and Forests 
personnel and other interested persons. 

The writer was also fortunate in having the opportunity to 
visit the Tennessee Valley Authority and the office of River Basin 
Studies of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at Boston, 
Massachusetts, From the personnel associated with the above agencies 
the writer received information based on considerable experience with 
impoundment problems. 



- 30 - 



It should be stated in this introduction that this paper 
is one of impressions and that these impressions must be qualified 
by the limited amount of time the writer has had in which to consider 
such a vast and many sided situation. Assuredly some of these 
impressions are not based on full recognizance of the problems 
involved,, 

T ypes of Impoundments 

There is a great variety of impoundments in Ontario dif- 
fering in age, size, purpose, manipulation and watershed location. 
These impoundments have been created to provide water for hydro power, 
logging purposes, domestic and other uses; also to control floods 
and regulate stream flow. They range in size from the small farm 
ponds of less than one acre in area to the large natural lakes with 
controlled water levels. In this paper impoundment refers to any 
body of water with a level controlled by a dam. 

The larger Ontario impoundments are the main interest of 
this paper and they are simply classified ass 

1. Impoundments created primarily to produce hydro-electric power. 

2. Impoundments created for flood control (with secondary purposes). 

A total of eighteen impoundments was visited by the writer 
and of these fourteen were regulated for hydro-electric power and 
four for flood control. 

Acknowledgments 

The writer wishes to express his thanks to Dr„ W. J. K. 
Karkness, Chief, Division of Fish and Wildlife for the opportunity 
to carry out this study. He is also indebted to many Lands and 
Forests personnel and the operating authorities of Ontario impound- 
ments for the information and cooperation they have provided. The 
personnel of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Office of River 
Basin Studies in Boston were most kind and cooperative in providing 
the benefit of their experience. 



- 31 - 

I HYDRO - ELECTRIC Il ' -f QUIJDMNT3 

A large percentage of the major impoundments in Ontario have 
been created to store water for the generation of hydro-electric 
power. These impoundments are located on the larger accessible 
watersheds located throughout Ontario. Of the fourteen impoundments 
visited during the tour all but two were located in northern and 
northwestern Ontario. These impoundments differ in many ways and an 
attempt is made to discuss them under the following headings. 

A ge of Impoundment 

Half of the impoundments visited were created within the 
last 10 years through an increased expansion program of the Ontario 
Hydro-Electric Power Commission. The older impoundments, some 
dating back to the l$00 ? s were created by private power concerns. 

Size of Impoundments 

The size of the hydro-electric impoundments varies consider- 
ably depending on the size of the watershed, topography of the area 
and size and location of the dam. Some are natural lakes in which 
storage capacity has been increased by erection of a dam at the 
outlet with resultant flooding of shoreline areas. Where dams have 
been constructed across rivers the storage capacity is in depth 
rather than area, depending on the topography of the region. The 
Otto Holden dam on the Ottawa River for example has changed this 
rapid flowing portion of the river into an elongated impoundment with 
a maximum depth of over 100 feet. On the other hand a dam now being 
constructed on the slower flowing English River will lead to the 
flooding of 22,000 acres for water storage. 

Lake of the Woods was the oldest and largest impoundment 
visited. It is a natural lake of some 1300 square miles in area 
which was dammed at the outlet in 1&76 for the control of interna- 
tional waters and for hydro-electric power. In the same region is Lac 
Seul with a water area of 600 square miles. The other impoundments 
are considerably smaller, some retaining their river characteristics. 
The smallest impoundment, Eugenia Pond in Southern Ontario, is a 
true impoundment of 2200 acres created forty years ago by damming a 
small river and utilizing a natural depression for water storage. 

P reparation of Site Prior to Impoundment 

Many of our impoundments are located on what was previously 
heavily forested land. The usual procedure has been to clear the 
site prior to impoundment. In clearing the site all standing trees 
were cut, the merchantable timber removed and the remainder piled 
and burned. This procedure has been followed to various degrees of 
efficiency. When the Des Joachims Dam on the Ottawa River was 
constructed in 1950, 12,000 acres of forested shoreline had to be 
cleared. All trees were cut but owing to various difficulties only 
a portion of the timber was removed or burned. In 1957 salvage 
operations were still being carried out to remove floating wood from 
the impoundment. 



- 32 - 

Other impoundments are more-or-less clear of debris depending 
on the efficiency of the original clearing and the time since impound- 
ment. In some impoundments debris has been boomed off into small 
bays. 

In northwestern Ontario the largest forest clearing for 
water impoundment in Ontario is being carried out on the English 
River where 22,000 acres of forested land are to be flooded. Here, 
the merchantable timber will be removed but the non-merchantable 
birch and poplar will be felled and left lying on the ground instead 
of being burned. This is a trial procedure for Ontario and is based 
on the experiences of the Quebec Hydro Commission. According to 
experiences in Quebec the felled timber should sink within two years. 
If this experiment is not successful salvage operations will have to 
be carried out to remove floating debris from the impoundment. 

The outstanding example of flooding standing timber is 

Lac Seul which is also part of the English River system. When water 

levels were raised on Lac Seul in the 1930 ? s by construction of a 
dam at the outlet, thousands of acres of standing forest were flooded 

and killed. To-day many of these dead trees are still standing while 

others have broken off at various heights and lie in a tangled mass 
about the standing trees. 

Manipulation of Water Levels 

When waters are to be controlled by a dam the operating 
authorities are required to submit their estimate of the maximum and 
minimum water levels they will require. These operating levels must 
be approved by the Minister of Lands and Forests of Ontario. 

Within the established limits water level manipulation 
depends on two factors, the amount of precipitation and the demand for 
power. The average regulated drawdown on the impoundments visited 
was approximately 10 feet with the greatest being 37 feet and the 
least several feet. In exceptionally dry years the full drawdown 
must be made while in normal years the drawdown may not be as severe. 

The Effects of Impoundment and Water Level Manipulation on the Fish 
P opulation 

This discussion must be necessarily general since no 
extensive pre and post impoundment studies of fish populations have 
been made in Ontario. Also the two effects? that of the initial 
impounding and that of water level manipulation are discussed together 
as they cannot be separated. The information that has been collected 
is in many cases an assessment of the angling in impounded waters. 
In a few cases commercial fishing data or preliminary biological 
studies were available. 

The impoundment and manipulation of water can affect fish 
populations in various ways, chief of which ares 



- 33 - 

(a) Effect on migration. 

(b) Effect on spawning, 

(c) Effect on physical and chemical environment 

(d) Effect on biological food chain. 

( a ) Effect on Migration 

The prevention of fish migration by hydro-electric dams 
is not a serious problem in Ontario* The majority of waters on 
which dams are located support mainly the warm water sport fish 
species such as northern pike ( Eso_x l ucius ) , yellow pickerel 
( Stizostedion vitreum ) and smallmouth bass ( Micropterus dolomieu ) 
none of which migrate extensively to spawn. In many of our larger 
river systems more or less discrete populations of these fish live 
in various sections of the river separated from one another by 
dams or natural barriers. There evidently are suitable spawning 
grounds for these species in close proximity to their main habitat. 

The rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri ) in the Great Lakes 
migrate into various streams to spawn but there are few hydro- 
electric dams located in positions to affect this migration. 

(b) Effect on Spawning 

The general procedure of holding water from the spring 
runoff and releasing it during the fall and winter does not appear 
to affect the spring spawning species to any extent. Although there 
are no specific biological data in this regard controlled waters 
provide angling of a quality comparable to non-controlled waters. 
The same situation appears to be true for the summer spawning bass. 

The lowering of water levels during the fall and winter 
can seriously affect the fall spawning species, the most common of 
which are the lake trout ( Salvelinus narnaycush) and whitefish 
( Coregonus clupeaformis ) . The effect of drawdowns on lake trout 
reproduction has been studied by Martin (1955) for certain Algonquin 
Park Lakes. His studies emphasize the fact that each lake is a 
separate problem since levels fluctuate differently from lake to 
lake, and year to year in one lake, and also because lake trout 
spawn at different depths in various lakes. Mr. Martin found that 
egg loss through drawdown occurred in certain years but could not 
estimate the percentage of the total egg deposition that was lost. 
It is his belief (personal communication) based on further investiga- 
tion of some 12 lakes in the Algonquin Park area that the small draw- 
downs which occur are not seriously harmful to lake trout reproduction 

Whitfield (1950) carried out some preliminary studies on 
lake trout spawning in Lake Wanapitei in Northern Ontario which 
fluctuates 7-10 feet on the average. From his knowledge of the 
depth of spawning beds he has estimated that the drawdowns over a 
ten-year period have resulted in an average of 26% loss of lake 
trout eggs. 



- 34 - 

In the smaller river systems like the Mississippi which 
drains several lakes and empties into the Ottawa River one lake may- 
be chosen for storage and subjected to a severe drawdown,, In this 
system three headwater lakes receive small drawdowns of several feet 
early in the fallo This water is stored in the fourth lake (Cross 
Lake) which receives a fourteen foot drawdown. This drawdown has 
eliminated the lake trout population from Cross Lake. 



As with lake trout the effect of water level manipulation 
on whitefish reproduction depends on the depth at which they spawn 
and the amount of drawdown during the period the eggs are on the 
spawning beds. Lac Seul contains a sizeable whitefish population 
and its maximum and minimum water levels are 1172 and 116 5 respecti- 
vely. Only part of this seven feet fluctuation would occur when 
whitefish eggs are on the spawning beds. However, there is a pro- 
posal at the present time to establish the minimum level at 1156, an 
additional drawdown of nine feet. If this is approved it is highly 
probable that whitefish reproduction will be seriously reduced if not 
eliminated. Commercial fishermen operating on this lake are reques- 
ting the establishment of a whitefish hatchery if a larger drawdown 
is approved. 

( c) Effect on Physical and Chemical Environment 

There are little data on any changes that have occurred or 
may occur in Ontario impoundments with respect to water tempera- 
ture, ^2 content, turbidity, silting, etc. However, it appears that 
on natural waters controlled by dams at the outlet that the effects 
on the fish population have been slight. 

Where impoundments have been created by the construction 
of dams on rivers and streams they may acquire lake characteristics 
depending on the source of the impounded water, the manipulation of 
the dam and the depth of the impoundment. Some impoundments have 
an established thermocline while in others there is little tempera- 
ture gradient from top to bottom. 

An incident of fish mortality in the Ottawa River at the 
Otto Holden Dam may possibly demonstrate some of the factors involved 
in impoundment. This fish mortality was investigated by Millest and 
Irizawa (1955) who found that the impounded water ranged in tempera- 
ture from 67°F at the bottom (75 ft. +) to 72°F at the surface. 
Dissolved oxygen content was a low 0.7 c.c. per litre at the bottom 
and lo8 c.c. per litre at the surface. Their investigation revealed 
several factors which exerted coincidental influences to bring 
about this situation. The river was receiving pulp mill waste from 
upstream, the weather was extremely hot during that period and the 
flow of water through the dam was shut off for three days. The pulp 
mill wastes were thus completely impounded in very warm water for 
three days causing increased decomposition and the resulting deple- 
tion of dissolved oxygen. When the dam was opened the dead fish near 
the gates were swept through and the fish immediately downstream 
were exposed to warm water of low oxygen content and were killed. 



- 35 - 

In certain impoundments additional habitat has become 
available to the population of native fish with a resulting increase 
in this population,, The creation of Rocky Island Lake in 1950 by 
damming the Mississagi River has resulted in an expanded pike popula- 
tion which has become very popular with anglers. The creation of 
Eugenia Pond by damming the Beaver River has provided additional 
habitat for the native speckled trout population and for the past 
forty years the production of trout from this impoundment has been 
greater than the original stream could support. Anglers on Lac Seul 
experience excellent success fishing around the flooded timbered 
shoreline of this lake. 

( d ) Effec t on the Biological Fo od Chain 

The effect of impoundment and manipulation of water levels 
on the populations of plankton, bottom fauna and forage fish species 
has not been studied. The fact that the predatory species, which are 
dependent on these organisms, are existing, apparently in sizeable 
numbers in the controlled waters suggests that they have not been 
affected too greatly * 

W ildlife on Hydro-Electric Impoundments 

The wildlife situation on hydro-electric impoundments is 
not too well understood and as with fisheries there are little 
specific data to indicate the status of these wildlife populations. 

The majority of impoundments visited supported small 
populations of ducks but these are not considered of any major 
significance by local offices. These impoundments are also utilized 
as stop-overs by migrant waterfowl to a limited extent. 

Similarly, the majority of impoundments support fur-bearing 
populations but the relationship of these populations to the manipula- 
tion of the water levels on the impoundment has not been studied 
to the writer's knowledge. It is commonly accepted, however, that 
drawdowns do affect muskrat populations. Fur production records on 
certain impoundments shed little light on the situation. 

R ecreational Aspects of Hydro-Electric Impoundments 

There is little development for recreational purposes on 
most of the hydro-electric impoundments for several reasonss- 

(a) Limited access to the impoundment. 

(b) Sparse human population. 

(c) Availability of other waters. 

(d) Development on some impoundments is not encouraged. 



- 36 - 

Practically all existing development has angling and 
recreation as its origin. This development is in the form of tourist 
outfitting camps and private summer cottages. Although there are 
occasional local complaints concerning water level manipulation, in 
general there appears to be a minimum of conflict between hydro- 
electric authorities and recreational interests. On lake trout 
waters there is, of course, more conflict than on non-lake trout 
waters. 

II FLOOD CONTROL IMPOUNDMENTS 



The need for the control of water flow in various southern 
Ontario watersheds is the result of excessive conversion of forested 
areas to agricultural use and the drainage of swamps which had served 
as natural storage reservoirs. 

This situation has given rise to two main problems. 
Firstly, the lack of natural storage reservoirs results in a rapid 
run-off which under certain meterological conditions reaches flood 
proportions and causes extensive damage. The loss of valuable top 
soil and siltation are associated with this condition . Secondly, 
the rapid run-off in the spring results in inadequate stream flows 
throughout the summer and winter. This stream flow is required for 
maintenance of the water table, for healthy fish populations, for 
drinking purposes, for the dilution of pollution, for the generation 
of power and for the natural scenic beauty associated with river 
systems. 

The need for the control of water flow in southern Ontario 
gradually became apparent and in the 1930 's various municipalities 
met with government representatives to determine the proper measures 
to achieve this control. These measures required a "watershed 
approach" and the integration of the municipalities within a water- 
shed into a conservation authority. 

The problem confronting a river valley conservation 
authority is to limit the probability of flooding in the spring and 
to retain sufficient water in storage to ensure adequate stream flow 
for all purposes. 

There is a long term approach to this problem and it 
consists of replacing the proper amount of forest cover and restoring 
wetlands to their previous natural condition. This approach has 
several drawbacks., It is not an immediate remedy and a large scale 
reforestation program in southern Ontario would be very costly and 
difficult to implement. The restoration of certain wetlands would 
be similarly difficult to achieve. 



- 37 - 

A more immediate approach and a much easier one administra- 
tively is to construct artificial reservoirs or impoundments to 
store spring run-off for controlled release during the summer and 
winter o 

It appears that various river valley authorities have 
placed the emphasis on the immediate approach and have supplemented 
this with a limited reforestation program designed to reduce 
erosion and siltation. 

Planning of Water Storage 

The planning of artificial water storage within a watershed 
involves many considerations chief of which ares 

(a) The amount of water availa ble for storage depends on the annual 
rainfall and snowfall. Although much of this water may be lost 
through evaporation, transpiration and deep seepage records for 
southern Ontario indicate that in most years there is more than 
adequate water for our needs o 

(b) The amount of storage required to reduce floods is based on 
records of the occurrence and intensity of past floodSo This 
storage is calculated to eliminate the minor floods which occur 
most often and to control to a certain extent the major floods 
that may be expected at far greater intervals,, 

(c) The amount.. of storage required for other uses (which have been 
mentioned previously) depends on population size and development 
in the watershed and the value that we assign to these uses, 
The water retained to reduce flooding can of course, be used 
for these purposes. 

(d) The cost of artificial water storage has a direct bearing on all 
planning. The cost is dependent on the amount of storage 
required, the geology and topography of the watershed and land 
values within the watershed. This cost must be compared with 
the benefits of water storage. 

It is in this cost/benefit analysis that recreation and fish and 
wildlife aspects often receive minor consideration. This is 
due to the difficulty of placing a monetary value on the benefits 
accruing from hunting, fishing and outdoors recreation. 

Discussion 

To the writer, the crux of the matter is this"- 

Through past use and misuse of land and water we have lost 
considerable fish and wildlife habitat and the recreational benefit 
associated with it. To regain this we require water storage over 
and above that required for other uses. We must be prepared to pay 
for this additional water storage and the integrated biological and 
engineering knowledge necessary to obtain full benefit from it. 



- 33 - 

Adjacent land should also be acquired with this water storage and 
developed with foresight and planning. 

The previous paragraphs have dealt mainly with the artifi- 
cial restoration or replacement aspects of river valley conservation 
development „ It should be apparent however, that steps should be 
taken to restore and/or maintain the proper propagation of forest 
cover on various southern Ontario watersheds. The overall value of 
retaining natural swamps and wetlands (especially those at higher 
elevation) should also be apparent. 

Summary 

The most striking characteristic of Ontario impoundments 
is the lack of specific biological information with which to assess 
the relationship of fish and wildlife populations to the impoundment. 
Another characteristic is that although certain generalizations may 
be made on impoundments each is sufficiently different from the 
other to make specific recommendations somewhat hazardous. 

The majority of hydro-electric impoundments are located 
on water systems inhabited by warm water species of fish. The angling 
activity on these impoundments may be classed as very light to moderate 
and angling success is comparable to that of non-controlled waters. 
Warm water fish populations appear to adjust adequately to water 
impoundment and in certain cases these populations have increased. 

Where hydro- electric dams are located on the smaller 
watersheds containing fall spawning lake trout the effect of these 
dams on reproduction depends on the extent of drawdown and the depth 
at which this species spawns. Kiartin has investigated this situation 
in a number of Algonquin Park lakes and has demonstrated that loss of 
lake trout eggs may occur under certain conditions. He emphasizes 
that each lake is a separate situation but feels that the effect on 
the present fishery in lakes with small or moderate drawdowns is 
slight. 

The location in more densely populated southern Ontario of 
impoundments for water control gives the fish, wildlife and especially 
recreational aspects of these impoundments greater significance. The 
dominant consideration here is their potential. This potential can 
be realized by giving proper consideration to fish and wildlife in 
planning water storage and manipulation? by increased biological study 
and by planned development of the land adjacent to the impoundment 
for recreational and other uses. 

S ome Considerations 

In assessing and forecasting the future status of impound- 
ments in Ontario two considerations should be kept in mind. These 
are the increasing importance of recreation and the approaching era 
of atomic power. 



- 39 - 

The prosperity of our country, the high standard of living, 
the shorter work week, paid vacations and improved means of trans- 
portation have placed a new and much higher value on recreation. 
A good portion of this recreation is being sought in the outdoors . 
The accelerated tempo of modern living makes outdoor recreation a 
necessity and a factor to consider in respect to the nation* s health. 

Ontario is fortunate in its abundance of waters but it 
should be remembered that its population is increasing steadily. 
This abundance of water will become more desirable recreation-wise 
and more accessible to a large population outside of Ontario as well. 
It would not be wise to dismiss the fish and wildlife values of any 
of these waters because they are not being realized at the present 
time. 

It appears also that we are on the threshold of wide scale 
use of atomic power and other energy sources which will alter the 
status of hydroelectric power in our future economy. 

C onclusion and Recommendations 

There are various reasons for the paucity of factual 
information in the fish and wildlife aspects of impoundments in 
Ontario. In some districts no problems have been evident. In others 
the work load is such that an impoundment study would necessarily 
be a very cursory investigation. The transfer of personnel among 
districts has probably disrupted some studies. Perhaps the most 
important reason is the belief that an investigation would lead to 
naught . 

It would appear that within the Department there is no 
integrated approach to the impoundment situation. One belief is 
that if a water system is required for (say) hydro-electric power 
other purposes may be disregarded. The multi-purpose concept is 
upheld by others. 

It is recommended that the multi-purpose concept be 
adopted or reaffirmed as policy and that the divisions responsible 
for land, water and fish and wildlife maintain an integrated approach 
to the uses of impoundments. 

It is recommended that closer liaison be maintained between 
the Department and the agencies or authorities which operate dams. 
This liaison should ease administrative difficulties in settling 
conflicts and lead to a more comprehensive understanding of impound- 
ment problems by all concerned. 

It is recommended that problems relating to impoundments 
be given priority in the work schedule of the districts, especially 
for impoundments in the early planning stage. Natural populations 
of fish and wildlife maintain themselves with little help but where 
habitat is being altered, as may be the case in impoundments, it is 
definitely worthwhile assessing the situation. 



- 40 - 

It is recommended that all districts be instructed to 
regularly obtain water level records from the operating authorities 
of dams and that these levels be plotted and analysed. Certain 
districts are doing this at the present time. 

The development and/or preservation of marsh areas for 
wildlife is currently under study by many conservation agencies 
throughout the continent. These studies should be reviewed by a 
biologist experienced in this particular field. 

It would appear to the writer that wetlands presently in 
the Crown should be retained and that arrangements be made for the 
acquisition or control of wetlands in the more densely populated 
areas which are not at present in the Crown* 

It is recommended that the impoundment clearing experiment 
at the Caribou Falls hydro project in the English River be kept under 
observation,. This area possesses a high potential for future recrea- 
tional development and the results of this experiment will have a 
bearing on this development. 

It is recommended that a biologist be employed to work 
specifically in problems related to hydro-electric impoundments. 
This biologist would keep abreast of impoundment studies, maintain 
liaison with hydro-electric interests and provide information and 
assistance to the districts. 

With respect to river valley development two needs are 
apparent. First of all it is necessary to build a case for fish, 
wildlife and recreational development to obtain funds for the addi- 
tional water storage required. Secondly it is necessary to employ 
a biologist thoroughly experienced in all phases of river valley 
conservation development or if this is not possible to train one as 
quickly as possible. It would be this person's responsibility to 
carry out the preliminary biological surveys alongside the engineering 
surveys and to understand the engineering aspects thoroughly in order 
that biological and engineering data may be integrated into a suitable 
plan. The assistance this person would require would be based on the 
scale of the development and the funds provided for fish, wildlife 
and recreational development. 

References 

Martin, II. V. 1955° The effect of drawdowns on lake trout reproduc- 
tion and the use of artificial spawning beds. Trans. 20th 
'". Ao Wildl. Conf., March 14-16, 195 5- pp» 263-271. 

I illest, R. H. and K. K. Irizawa. 1955- Investigation of fish 

mortality in the Ottawa River. Unpub. report. Ont. Dept. 
of Lands and Forests. 

Whitfield, R. E. 1950. Elevations of Lake Wanapitei and their 

effect on eggs of spawning fishes. Unpub. report, Ont. 
Dept. of Lands & Forests. 



- 41 - 

PaRRY sound lake TROUT SPORT FISHERY - 1959 

by 
A. Dube 9 and C. A, Rettie 



Abstract 

a survey was conducted to gather information on the 
lake trout sports fishery and sea lamprey attacks on 
lake trout in the Parry Sound area. From creel census 
forms distributed to tourist camp operators and local 
anglers it was learned that of 2S0 lake trout captured 
from June 11 to October #, 1959? 15# had lamprey scars, 
The average number of lamprey scars per scarred fish 
was 1.7 and two fish had 10 scars each. The average 
length of lake trout captured was 24.3" (277 fish) 
with an average weight of 6.6 lbs. Six fish weighed 
IS lbs. or over and the largest recorded was 36 3/4 ! " 
in total length and weighed 23 lbs. 



The lake trout fishery of Georgian Bay has reached a very 
low ebb because of the depredations of the sea lamprey. Parry Sound 
or "The Big Sound" is one of the last strong holds of this valuable 
species and still remains an area where anglers can pursue their 
sport with reasonable hope of success. Again this year an effort was 
made to gather information concerning lamprey attacks on the trout. 

In early June, we contacted all tourist camp operators and 
many local anglers who were known to fish in this area and enlisted 
their aid. Creel census forms were distributed and the information 
requested for each lake trout wass 

1. Date caught. 

2. Total lengtho 

3- Weight in pounds and ounces. 

4. Number of lamprey scars. 

5. Location where caught. 

Envelopes were also supplied so that scale samples could be 
obtained for each fish. 

The response to this appeal for information has been 
excellent and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 
those who co-operated. 

The data obtained are being forwarded to South Bay Research 
Station where they will be studied, age classes determined from the 
scale samples and a detailed report written. The following summary 
has been prepared for your immediate information. 



- 4.2 - 



o o o o o 



6 



Number of private anglers contributing information 

Number of tourist camps contributing information ooooooo 6 

Total lake trout captured June 11 - October 3 .d......... 230 

Average length of lake trout based on measurements ' 

Average weight of lake trout based on weights of 279 

Total number of lake trout with lamprey scars « . . » • » B o . 153 

Total number of lamprey scars on lake trout ...d... 263 

Total number of scale samples obtained . ...-,. o.... ...o . 271 

Of these 230 captured lake trout, 36 were taken in June, 
141 in July, 69 in August, 31 in September and three in October <> 
This, I believe, does not indicate when the fishing success was 
better but rather when the fishing pressure was the greatest „ 

Six fish weighed 13 lbs» or over. The largest recorded 
was 36 3/4 inches in total length and weighed 23 lbs* This fish was 
captured on August llthu The smallest trout recorded was one measur- 
ing 15 1/2 inches and weighing 1 1/4 lb. 

Although the average number of lamprey scars per scarred 
fish is 1„7 there were two fish recorded as having 10 scars each. 

Two lake trout that had been previously tagged in the fall 
of 1953 were recaptured. 

Although this project has been carried out for two years, 
more data will be required in the future for our fisheries management 
program. We hope we can count on the continued support of the 
anglers and tourist outfitters. 



- 43 - 

HILL'S LAKE HATCHERY EXPERIMENT NO, g 
ON AERIAL FISH PLANTING, 1959 

by 
N. Do Patrick 



Abstract 

In order to test the merits of plastic containers for 
transporting live fish, extensive experimental work was 
carried out during the summer of 1959 in Swastika 
District. Experiments were designed' to test various 
methods of holding fish and to ascertain what happened 
to fish after they were dropped from aircrafto Tables 
are presented showing the results of tests ons the 
carrying capacity for plastic bags with oxygen and M.S. 
222° the effect of periodic agitation; the carrying 
capacity using a buffer; and the shipping capacity and 
times using plastic bags, anaesthetic and buffer. The 
study founds 

1. The use of chemicals and plastic bags for trans- 
porting fish have great potential. 

2. Fish dropped generally went to the bottom of the 
pond and remained motionless for varying lengths 
of time. 

3o The use of plastic bags with a buffer, anaesthetic, 
oxygen and water is the best method of carrying 
fish over considerable distances manually that has 
been used to date. 

4. A planting of 2,314 Aurora Trout made into one 
pack-sack of plastic bags weighing 50 lbs. was 
carried over a mile portage. Only two fish died as 
a result of handling injuries and the rest were 
observed to recover and start feeding after planting, 



During recent years, a number of agencies have been experi- 
menting with the use of plastic containers for transporting live fish 
Reports of these experiments indicate that this method has consider- 
able potential and may well prove to be an improvement on methods 
presently being used at Hill v s Lake Hatchery in Swastika District. 
For this reason, the following experimental work was carried out 
during the summer of 1959. 

O bjective 

The objective is threefold (a) to familiarize personnel 
with the method, and stimulate progressive thought among the hatchery 
staff; (b) to investigate the possibilities of modifying the plastic" 



- 44 - 

bag transportation technique so that it may be adjusted to suit either 
or both aerial and truck plantings, and (c) to investigate the use of 
chemicals in fish transportation. 

Acknowledgments 

This work was most certainly a co-operative effort, and the 
assistance of the following personnel is gratefully acknowledged" 
The staff at Hill ? s Lake Hatchery, particularly Mr. P. Graf, Ass ? to 
Sr. Conservation Officer R. Johanson, skin divers J. Royal and D. 
Ramsay of the Northern Aquatic Group, and Mr. J. P. Currier of the 
Canadian Wildlife Service, all contributed to the project. 



Method 



Two separate phases of experimentation were involved as 



follows? 

(a) The Method of Holding the Fish in Bags 

Different numbers of fingerling, yearling and two-year old 
speckled trout were held for varying lengths of time in plastic bags 
using several combination of water, anaesthetic, buffer and oxygen. 
After the first trial, it appeared that agitation of the bags at 
intervals was a factor, and hence, a series was run with one set of 
bags being agitated at one-half hour intervals. The first trial also 
demonstrated the importance of starving the fish prior to the experi- 
ments. 

In each case, fish were hand counted, weighed, anaesthetized 
and then placed in measured amounts of solution in plastic bags. 
Oxygen was added and the bags were tied off with heavy rubber bands 
and then placed in the water in the spillways to maintain them at a 
constant temperature . 

Bags were made of two sizes from tubing supplied by Mr. 
J. P. Currier of the Canadian Wildlife Service. Small bags were made 
from three mil six inch tubing, and large ones from four mil ten inch 
tubing. 

(b) Aerial Plantings 

After the first phase experiments were completed, the method 
was used for an aircraft drop in two stages . Six lots of 200 yearling 
speckled trout were prepared and placed in six inch size plastic 
bags containing one gallon of mixture (six gals, water, two gm. buffer 
and 1/2 gm. M.S. 222) and filled to capacity with oxygen. The bags were 
about 3/5 full of fish and solution, and 2/5 full of oxygen. One 
bag of fish was retained in a trough at the hatchery as one control, 
two bags were dropped from the aircraft into an empty, pond at the 
hatchery (shallow water), two bags were dropped into a pre-arranged 
target area in Lawgraves Lake (40 ? deep), and the last bag was 
retained in the aircraft as a second control. Two skin divers were 
on hand at Lawgraves Lake to observe the drop from below surface and 
to follow the recovery of the fish. 



O bservations . ^5 _ 

(a) The Method of Molding Fish 

Three separate bests were made using the plastic bags, and 
the results of these are tabulated as follows" 

TABLS I - "Carrying Capacity for Plastic Bags With Oxygen 
and M.S. 222" ^ 

This was in effect a trial run, and it was immediately obvious 
that the fish should have been starved beforehand. Metabolic products 
very rapidly made the water solution milky. During this test, it 
appeared that fish soon suffered in some parts of the bags unless the 
bags were agitated. 

TABLE II - "Effect of Periodic Agitation" 

This second run was prepared with two duplicate series of 
fish, and series "B" was agitated by hand every half hour. It is 
obvious that agitation reduced losses in all but the last lot (lot 4) 
and this lot may well have been loaded with fish beyond the point 
where agitation was effective. 

TABLE III - "Carrying Capacity Using Buffer" 

A quantity of trias buffer was supplied by Mr. Currier and 

its effectiveness tested at a concentration of two gms. in six gals, 

of water. Comparison of this table with Table II demonstrates the 
effectiveness of the buffer. 

TABLE IV - "Shipping Capacity and Times Using Plastic 
Bags, Anaesthetic and Buffer" 

This table was prepared based on the results of Table III. 
It is not to be considered as a final standard for use, but was pre- 
pared to demonstrate that the plastic bag method compares favourably 
with the aircraft dropping equipment now used. Normally a Beaver 
aircraft carries a full load of 9,000 yearlings, and in plastic bags, 
this could be done for short trips (three hours or less) with a total 
weight of less than 850 lbs* '(Maximum beaver paylo.?.d is $50 lbs.) 

(b) Aerial Planting 

The aerial drops were carried out on the morning of September 
5th, 1959? and observations were recorded as follows. 

Preparation 

Fish were counted and prepared between 10 and 10^30 a.m., 
so that by 10s 30, six lots of 200 yearling speckled trout had been 
anaesthetized in a solution of one gm. M.S. 222 in eight gals, of 
water and then placed in plastic bags containing a gallon of the 
following solution - six gals, water, two gms. buffer and 0.5 gms. 
M.S. 222. The bags were filled with oxygen. 



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- 47 - 



TABLE II - Effect of Periodic Agitation 

Notes (1) ?? A" Series not disturbed during 
experiment . 

(2) 1? B S? Series agitated at 1/2 hour 
intervals. Both series in solution 
of 1 gm. M.S. 222/8 gals. H 2 with 

o 2 . 

(3) Water temperatures maintained 
between 47° and $2° F. 



Lot 

Number 


Number 

and 
Age of 
Fish 

200 Y. 


Weight 
of 

Fish 


Amount 
Water 
Solution 

2 gal. 


Duration 
of 
Expt, 

2 Hrso 


Loss 


1 A 


5.3 lbs. 


119 


1 B 


200 


Y. 


5.3 lbs. 


2 


gal. 


2 


Hrs. 


97 


2 A 


100 


Y. 


3.9 lbs. 


2 


gal. 


2 


Hrs. 


61 


2 B 


100 


Y. 


2.5 lbs. 


2 


gal. 


2 


Hrs. 





3 A 


300 


Fg. 


500 gm.* 


6 


pint 


3 


Hrs. 


73 


3 B 


300 


Fg. 


500 gm.* 


6 


pint 


3 


Hrs. 


23 


4 A 


400 


Fg. 


663 gm.* 


6 


pint 


3 


Hrs. 


143 


4 B 


400 


Fg. 


663 gm.* 


6 


pint 


3 


Hrs. 


149 



K 



Figures based on average weights and not actual weights, 



- 43 - 

TABLE III - C arrying Capacity Using Buffer 

Notes Series Solution - 1/4 gm. M.S. 222, 
2 gm. Trias Buffer/6 gals, water. 

Bags agitated at 1/2 hour intervals. 

Fish anaesthetized in 2 gm. M.S. 222/ 
6 gals, water. 

Water temperature maintained between 
43° and 54° F. 



Lot 

Number 


Number 
and Age 
of Fish 

100 Y. 


Weight of 
Fish 


Amount 

of 

Solution 

1 gal. 


Duration 
of 

EXpt e 


Loss 
1 


Longest 
Period 
Fish O.K. 

12* Hrs. 


Remarks 


1 


3.6 lbs*. 


12.25 


Hrs. 




2 


200 


Y. 


7.2 lbs. 


1 


gal. 


7.0 


Hrs. 


43 


5-6 Hrs. 




3 


300 


Y. 


11.0 lbs. 


1 


gal. 


4.0 


Hrs. 


166 


3 Hrs. 




4 


400 


Y. 


15.0 lbs. 


1 


gal. 


4.0 


Hrs. 


344 


3 Hrs. 


Note (1) 


5 


200 


Fg. 


330 gms. 


1 
2 


gal. 


3.0 


Hrs. 





3* Hrs. 


Note (2) 


6 


300 


Fg. 


490 gms. 


1 

2 


gal. 


7.5 


Hrs. 


1 


3 Hrs, 




7 


400 


Fg. 


740 gms. 


1 


gal. 


7.75 


Hrs. 


13 


7 Hrs. 




3 


500 Fg. 
At three 


920 gms. 
hours fish ' 


1 
2 


gal. 


7.0 
>ring, 


Hrs. 
but no 


201 


5-6 Hrs. 
ality observ 




(1) 


were suffc 


mort 


"ed. 


(2) 


Bag devel 


.oped a leak 


after \/ r . 


I hour 


and ox 1 


/gen 


escaped. 





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- 50 - 



Bag #1 was placed in a hatchery trough in water at 40° F. 
and checked periodically. This bag was emptied at 12s30 noon and 
all fish recovered in good condition* 

Bags #*s 2, 3> 4? 5 and 6, and two bags of ice were placed 
aboard aircraft O.C.D. with pilot Dean Allen and Conservation 
Officer D. Perry at 11; 00 a.m. and the aerial drops commenced. The 
weather was warm, sunny and clear with a light south breeze gusting 
up to 10 m.p.h., becoming more gusty by noon. 

Hatchery Drop 

Pond #3 at Hill's Lake had been cleaned and filled prior 
to the experiment. Two separate drops were made at approximately 
lis 20 a.m. from the aircraft at 90 m.p.h. from an altitude of 200 
feet. Drop #1 almost completely missed the pond, and Drop #2 fell 
mostly in a neighbouring pond. The aircraft cabin temperature was 
$0° F., the water temperature in the bags l+S° F. and the pond tempera- 
ture was 42° F. 

At least 37 fish from Drop #1 landed in Pond #3 and were 
observed as they recovered. Two fish failed to recover, but they were 
close to the cement spillway and were assumed to have bounced from 
the spillway into the water. All the fish landing in the pond sank 
to the bottom (about three feet), and most of them lay motionless, 
right side up. Six fish were lying on their sides on the bottom 
immediately after the drop. All fish except the two mentioned above 
showed normal slow respiratory movements. After about 30 minutes, 
most of the fish started to recover and move around. First recovery 
was usually accompanied by sporadic attempts to surface*, 

Drop #2 landed mostly in Pond #2, containing legal sized 
two-year old fish. Immediate observations were the same as for Drop 
#1, but recovery observations were terminated as a result of canni- 
balism. As soon as the motionless fish started to recover, they were 
attacked by the larger fish. 

Lawgraves Lake Drop 

The crew, consisting of skin divers J. Royal and D. Ramsay 
of the Northern Aquatic Group, accompanied by Ass 9 t. Sr. Conservation 
Officer R. Johanson, were on Lawgraves Lake with all in readiness by 
llsOO a.m. A triangular target area had been marked out with buoys. 

Two drops of 200 fish each were made, one at 11; 50 a.m. 
and the second at lis 55 a.m. Fish were dropped from an altitude of 
200 feet at 90 m.p.h. Cabin temperature was 30° F. and bag tempera- 
ture was 46° F. The air temperature was 66° F., and the water 
temperatures were as follows; 



- 51 



urface 


- 6S° 


5 ? 


- 66° 


10' 


- 66° 


15 s 


- 66° 


20 ? 


- 66° 


25 ? 


- 66° 


30? 


- 62° 


35? 


- 52° 


46 v 


- 44° 



at the time of Drop #1, diver Royal was under water in the 
center of the target area and diver Ramsay was in the boat with 
Johanson» The first drop landed at the Northern edge of the target 
area, and after Royal was summoned to surface;, Ramsa}/ was taken to the 
location of the drop and went under. The second drop landed in the 
same place as the first, over Ramsay who was about 20 ? under the 
surface o Both divers submerged and made observations. The following 
observations are taken from Mr e Johanson's reports 

"Mr. Royal was the first diver to return to surface at 
12s 10 p.m. He reported seeing approximately 30 fish laying on bottom 
of lake, and he observed two of these regain mobility. They swam up 
out of the cold water into warmer water.'" 

"Royal returned to bottom of the lake and re-surfaced at 
12sl5 p.m. with three speckled trout, picked up from the bottom. 
These fish were activated in the water by Johanson - two swam away 
normally and the third would swim a short distance and roll over on 
its side, and then swim again." "The under part of this third fish 
appeared blood-shot, and probably it had hit the surface of the 
water too hard when dropped from the aircraft," 

"Mr, Royal reported seeing five speckled trout in good 
condition swimming around in about a 10 ? depth of water. He did not 
go under water after returning to surface at 12s 15 p.m. as his oxygen 
tank was exhausted." 

"D, Ramsay returned to surface at 12sl5 pom., and reported 
being in about 20 y of water at the time the second drop was made 
over him. He could not see the fish hit the water as the sun was too 
bright, but he could hear the fish when they hit the water, making 
a sound similar to heavy rain falling on a roof. Right after the 
drop, Ramsay saw some fish swimming around which appeared in good 
condition. Others were swimming in a circle appearing as if they 
were dizzy, and some were slowly sinking to the bottom. He estimated 
about 50 speckled trout were seen on the bottom of the lake which 
appeared to be lifeless. Ramsay saw two speckled trout with half 
of their tails gone, but this did not appear to affect their swimming. 
Ho also saw two speckled trout with the dorsal fin missing swimming 
without any difficulty." (Notes These are hatchery deformities.) 



- 52 - 

,f Ramsay returned to bottom of the lake at 12° 20 p m and 
re-surfaced at 12° 25 p.m. He brought up four speckled trout from 
the bottom which appeared very dead - mouth wide open, gills extended 
and body arched. He observed a few speckled trout on the bottom 
irom one second drop, make a few movements and sink into the soft 
ooze on the bottom, and he did not think these fish revived." 

"Johanson observed six speckled trout swimming around 

two ?o ti^ y 6 f ? * in ??° Ut a 2? de P th of water > approximately 
two to three minutes after the second drop." 



i! 

If I 



'The divers reported the water extremely cold below 30' - 

i i 5 P ? 7 They COuld see the cold area before entering it. It 
looked like a thin layer of fog." 

th P ai^rJf£% Perr ^ aboard the aircraft, reported the fish all left 
the aircraft in good condition, with the exception of two in the last 
bag dropped which were presumed dead. The sixth and final Sag was 
returned to Swastika at about 12*20 p m o and stored in the cSoi inr 

ra°,TT Qn l ° f the freeZ9r ' By the t±me the Lawgraves op w g 
™t' + l f; ?err y reports > that many of the fish had recovered from the 
anaesthetic and were swimming actively inside the bags, 

qt uM^ J hS 5i Sh in the Sixth bag wers retained until 3?00 p„m , 
at which time there were only 40 survivors. Periodic agitation 
would probably have prevented much of this loss. agitation 

Conclusions 

preliminarv^tnL be ? 0i ^ Sd ° Ut clearl y th ^ this experiment was of a 
preliminary nature. In this respect, it served its purocse well 

caL anT.lfi^ 16 d °S bt in the writer?s ^-d that Ehe'use ofchemi- 

Such mSre P care^l ? S i f ° r trans P°f ting fish have ^ eat potential. 

;° wf£ P re liminary work is required and this experiment 
s c rves to justify proceeding in this direction,, 

D n+ . Serial planting of fish requires more investigation 

#6^x1 ° f dro D e D effi.^ ry iP ° P ?° nflr "* d obserra ""^in Experiment 

7/-u } viz., Qxopped fish generally went to the bottom of thp nnn? flr .H 

oS' S ^ ^ e ±ai1 t0 demons-crate clearly what happens when **ish 

fnlo'thfsof^b^torfor' 91 "',,^^ SOae did S ° t0 t^bottom and'sank 
failure of an ; " f ° ' ** 8 have °" e confirmed report of a complete 
unexDlIinprf n-,*^ $ planting, and have records of a number of 
7^t p i f • un ? UCC3SSIul plantings. Success of olantine is - i 3 ™ 
Pr" 3 "nt r ma'aLment at i nS mt °? .? SUitable for speckleftrout In' our 
must "be on" that L P S" 3 ' and lf this is done ' the Panting method 
iter all conditions pr ° Ve " 0r at leaSt instigated thoroughly 



- 53 - 

The use of plastic bags with a buffer , anaesthetic, and 
oxygen, as well as water is the best method of carrying fish over 
considerable distances manually that has been used by the staff in 
this District to date. A planting of 2,314 Aurora Trout fingerlings 
was made on September 16th, 1959, and the entire planting was made 
into one pack-sack of plastic bags and carried over a one mile 
portage. The entire pack including ice did not weigh over 50 lbs. 
Two fish died as a result of handling injuries and the rest were 
observed to recover and start to feed after planting,, 

The following experimental work is recommended as a follow- 
up to refine the methods of utilizing these transporting techniques. 

(1) A complete series of tests to determine the quantities of 
buffer required to stabilize the pH of Hill's Lake water with 
varying lots of fish for varying lengths of time. 

(2) A series of tests to determine the usefulness and cost of 
chemically treating water in truck tanks to increase the 
carrying capacity of the truck. This should be of particular 
use in transferring large numbers of fish from one hatchery to 
another. 

(3) An investigation of methods of efficiently packaging fish in 
plastic bags. This is a cumbersome affair at present, but can 
no doubt be very much improved. 

(4) An extensive series of underwater observations of air-dropped 
fish under various conditions of water temperature, depth and 
using both normal and anaesthetized fish.